Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 14th in the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Busch started from the pole and led twice for 45 laps en route to scoring his 16th top-15 finish in 25 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval. It was also his fourth top-15 this season.
Busch maintained position inside the top-five for the first half of the race, needing only minor adjustments to keep his red-and-black racecar dialed in as the sun set over the Fort Worth racetrack. But, at the halfway point and throughout the remaining laps of the 334-lap event, Busch began to struggle with an overall lack of grip – his Haas Automation Chevrolet was tight entering the corners and loose on exit.
Crew chief Tony Gibson called for wedge and air pressure adjustments each time Busch came to pit road, but he was unable to return the racecar to the form that it showed earlier in the race.
By lap 212, Busch was mired in 18th. Following a spin by Matt Kenseth on lap 229, Busch was able to come to pit road for adjustments. He restarted 17th and managed to climb to 12th in just two laps. Unfortunately Busch’s forward progress stopped there, as he reported over the radio that “it was starting to go away” on lap 242.As the race wound down, Busch struggled to improve position but reached the checkered flag in the 14th positon.